Morgan: 59-41

Roy Morgan seems to have moved to weekly face-to-face polls, today’s offering being a survey of 955 voters conducted on Saturday and Sunday (so before the early week leadership non-event). It shows a 1 per cent shift in the Coalition’s direction on two-party preferred, with both major parties up on the primary vote: the Coalition from 34.5 per cent to 36 per cent, Labor from 49 per cent to 51 per cent.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

558 comments on “Morgan: 59-41”

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  1. The sample size was small just 955 so i wouldnt take this polls so seriously except as a trend.

    Oh and wow the National Party vote is now a whopping 2% what a surge by the agrarian socialists…seriously 2% that is a joke almost as shocking as last Morgans 1.5%…add on another 4% then the Coalition is on 40% primaries…still a long long long way behind Labor’s 51%…seriously i dont think they will stay this high on election day but unless the bottom drops out of it the ALP should have a primary vote above 40 in the election…the question is whether the Liberal Party primary vote can reach 40%…

    Labor seems to do darn well with preferences mainly because of the Greens though…oh well

  2. [In other news a poll of Cabinet Ministers found an extremely low approval rating for the PM.]

    According to Peter Hartcher, his only assured vote was Ruddock, and maybe Abbott!

  3. I know someone always says it but… please Gary Morgan get rid of that stupid formula for computing soft Labor votes. He mentions it every time as if it were his pet statistic, but the question about Australia heading in the right direction is so vague and ambiguous, it renders the computation of soft voters virtually meaningless. Please spare us the insanity!

    Otherwise, pretty much business as usual. Not much change. Labor’s primary vote is looking very nice, even if it is simply shifting around within the margin of error. Anywhere above 46 or 47 going into an election is something to be very pleased about. (By contrast, the Coalition in the mid to high 30s is appalling… but I’m sure they think the new bright and shiny Team Howard-Costello will change all that, well, at least in Abbott’s parallel universe.)

  4. Here we go again with Glen and the National Party primary, the sample size etc. etc.

    I could swear we’ve been through all this before.

  5. There’ll be no stopping the rodent now. All he needs is 10 more weeks of campaigning picking up 1% per week and he’s home. Easy!

  6. While I’m still not sure about Morgan’s ‘Heading in the right direction’ thing, it is interesting to note the ‘strong’ Labor vote has increased to 34% after sitting around 30% for the last several of these polls…

  7. Can’t wait for Newspoll on Monday night (on Lateline) – after Howard’s arrogant plea for another term, I’m going for 61/39 TPP. Nothing for the government in the new Morgan.

  8. Boll but since Morgan has the Nats on 2% instead of 6%, even if the Libs can go up 4% on primaries they would only be 42% and Labor would still probably win…

  9. I think most people are of the opinion the political climate has changed quite drastically since last Sunday, when this was taken. The only question is whether this will be a positive or a negative for the government.

    Newspoll will be the real test – not that I think it will buck with the trend mind you. Any reaction to the Costello shift will be absorbed over a couple of weeks or so.

  10. Morgan’s calculation of ‘soft vote’ is nonsensical.

    Taken to its logical conclusion, it means that if Labor’s primary vote remains high – ie sticks – it is still soft. It can only ‘firm’ if current ‘soft’ supporters, whilst remaining with Labor, suddenly flip to decideing ‘the country is heading in the wrong direction’.

  11. Bungs thanks for the google link.
    A quick look and the lib channel views was just now 3000 odd while the labour channel views was 43000 ( another bad poll result) sorry Glen the Nats view total was such a lower number than even Morgan would give them a high percentage. They must be waiting for the broadband revolution out west.

  12. I do miss Steven Kaye’s adjusting of the Morgan vote – probably have the Libs on level pegging on this showing. Maybe he’s the one interpreting the CT polling for Howard.

    Howard:” Get that engine started, Jeeves, and go the shortest route to Yarralumna. Drive over anyone trying to stop you!”

  13. The question really should be who do you like more???

    Costello (Deputy Dawg)
    Gillard (nuff said)

    What a choice!

    Its the choice between a giant douche and a turd sandwich….

  14. “Under what possible circumstances could the liberal infighting be a positive in the minds of the voters?”

    Well, they are starting to move out of denial. Maybe some punters will see that as a positive.

  15. Asanque: none. Which is why I wouldn’t be at all surprised in newspoll was at the 60-40 mark again next week – the government would deserve it.

    However, it is obvious the libs are trying to change their tack, promote the ‘team’ and – more importantly – enhance Costello’s status as a future, stable PM (and so forth.) Yes I know many think Costello has an image problem, but hey I think I’d be a bit bitter as well if I was promised leadership of the country and then got it taken away from me. Either way, the dynamics of the election battle have certainly changed, the only question remains as to whether it affects the result, or whether people have made up their minds.

    Regardless, it will be interesting to see if the perception of Costello sotens in the coming weeks, he is certainly an apt performer, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it does. I’m biased, of course, because I’ve always liked him, but others are equally biased in their negative assessment because they genuinely don’t like him.

    You can bet your bottom dollar newspoll will contain questions asking people about the Costello factor on Tuesday, the answer to those questions will be the most fascinating I would think.

  16. Max I personally don’t understand why some Liberal supporters say they wouldn’t vote Coalition with Costello at the helm. He is far and away better than Howard.

    Not only that, I think he’d rip Rudd to shreds as leader. He’s got a far more confident media presence.

    However, I don’t think public opinion will ever soften to Costello much. Once people get an impression in their minds it takes a lot to change it. Costello isn’t liked in the public. Nothing’s going to change that. I see him as a very Keatingesque character.

  17. Max: I don’t mind Costello, I’d certainly prefer him over Howard or Downer.

    However, my recollection of the latest polling had Howard neck to neck with Turnbull, and Costello far down the rankings in terms of public approval. I can’t see the latest infighting doing anything to improve the view of Costello from the general public.

  18. I am going to jump on the 61-39 next Newspoll bandwagon, because being right on that one is so worth it, that who cares about being wrong?

  19. costello is vastly over-rated.

    He didn’t even understnd basic budgetary costings in the last election ans was made to look a fool when on AM. He was bested by Crean in the last two elections on treasury matters and went over the top against Rudd and had to have a Cabinet minister, a decent one at that, resign

  20. Here is a Morgan poll on this issue from July.

    [‘Over the last two nights (July 25/26), following the Howard/Costello book controversy, the ALP increased their lead by 3% to 18% on a two-party preferred basis. If Costello were leader of the L-NP the ALP lead would increase to 26%. However, if Turnbull were to be leader the L-NP would hold its current position. These are the main findings of a special telephone Morgan Poll.

    Labor’s primary vote is now 48% (up 0.5% since the last telephone Morgan Poll), L-NP 35% (down 2.5%), Greens 9.5% (up 0.5%) and Independent/Others 7.5% (up 1.5%). On a two-party preferred basis: ALP 59%, LNP 41%.

    Electors were also asked who they would vote for if Peter Costello or Malcolm Turnbull were Prime Minister: neither Costello nor Turnbull lifted the L-NP vote beyond the result Howard achieved.

    Primary support for the L-NP if Peter Costello were leader is a low 31.5% (down 3.5% from the Howard result), while ALP support rose 4.5% to 52.5%. The ALP’s two-party preferred lead went from 18% with Howard as leader to 26% with Costello as leader (63% cf. 37%).

    Malcolm Turnbull fared better with L-NP primary support remaining at the same level as Howard (35%), while ALP support increased 1.5% to 49.5%. Turnbull achieved the same two-party preferred lead as Howard (ALP 59%, L-NP 41%).

    With Howard as Coalition leader just 2.5% (down 1%) did not name a party; with Costello as leader 3.5% did not name a party; and with Turnbull as leader 5% did not name a party.’]

  21. Glen that was a bit nasty, not a bit techy today? Anyways Steven Kaye is busy doing poll analysis for the PM, apparently Steven has the libs ahead in all the key marginals. This will come as a massive shock to those of us who know and love Steven.

  22. This transition idea of Howard’s is dumb IMO. People who want Howard gone now aren’t going to wait until 18 months after the election, and people who don’t like Costello won’t want him to become PM. Maybe if Costellos was PM now, he could change those perceptions, but Howard’s still PM.

  23. Long-time reader, second-time commenter.

    This poll has little meaning, and even Glen isn’t interpreting the 1% move as anything more than statistical ‘noise’.

    I think there is still a real disconnect in the community in terms of the Coalition’s chances. Many people are sick of Howard, but still think that he can / will win.

    And Glen? If I had to choose between Costello and Julia Gillard for any post in the government, I’d take Gillard every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

  24. Actually Aussiesmurf, the Morgan poll above says 66% of voters believe the ALP will win.

    Or are you talking from your general polling of the community?

    My own internal polling shows baseball bats.

  25. Tim Dunlop over at Blogocracy had a nice thread about Howard being a team player. Howard is still talking about ‘his’ personal popularity, even after the ‘team’ was formed. This is a farce, if Howard wins, he will stick around for 2+ yrs and the electorate will be dupped. If he loses it will be the team’s fault because he is so high in the polls.

  26. Well Asanque #38, my internal polling is showing that amongst Liberal voters, there has been a massive upswing in support for the immediate return of Kim Beazley.

  27. CTEP @ 28

    Neither can I, I think I’ve made my position on that pretty clear. I’ve wanted Costello to take over for a while now, but there hasn’t been a ‘right moment’ for a challenge, and Howard made his call to stay on. Them’s the breaks. I support the Liberals in general, however I think ten years as leader is more then enough time to do what you want to do. Generally, as mumble mentions frequently, ‘political gravity’ ensures no one leader lasts that long, however these have been unusual times. There’s no doubt Howard has been lucky over the years.

    The question is, will the ‘a vote for howard is a vote for costello’ be a negative in the campaign? Labor has hinted at it a few times already, and every time I hear that I think ‘excellent.’ I have no doubt I am in the minority, of course, but by Howard diminishing his role he has removed some of the baggage of the government. Not all, mind you, but some.

    We will have to disagree on the changing Costello perception issue, only time and polling will reveal the answer to that.

    Asanque @ 29

    I was mainly referring to the preferred PM stats, where Howard still sits at 37%, and that has remained very steady over the past year or so – the change has been from ‘undecideds’ to ‘Rudd.’ Which while significant, doesn’t detract from the point that there is no overwhelming hatred for the PM in his dying days, which isn’t bad after 11 years or so.

    Having just read the stats @ 33, I must respectfully disagree with the meaning behind it that Mr Morgan implied. I’ve always though that giving people a choice between leaders in polls is a bit iffy – for example, ‘howard lovers’ (there were a few around back in July) would say they are less likely to vote for the libs if Costello was leader, simply because they had a choice to do so. I don’t think that would be the case when faced with a vote on election day. There is a huge difference between asking people ‘who will you vote for out of Rudd and Costello’ and ‘who would you vote for if Costello was leader out of Rudd and Costello’? That’s just my personal opinion of course.

    Again, I don’t think the infighing will help the Coalition, what I am curious about is any perception changes over the next month or so.

  28. To overcome small sample concerns is it alright to combine the last two single weekend Morgans (sample 1870) to compare with previous one which was conducted over 2 weekends (released 31/8, sample 1271) giving us a better like-for-like comparison?

    If so the last two give us primaries of roughly L/NP 35.25 (down 5.75) and ALP 50 (up 4).

  29. [The question really should be who do you like more???

    Costello (Deputy Dawg)
    Gillard (nuff said)

    What a choice!

    Its the choice between a giant douche and a turd sandwich….]

    For the 8 trillionith time, Gillard will never lead the ALP, because she is from the left.

    Costello is the most gutless politician in living memory. He has had so many opportunities to knock Howard off, but he has never had the ticker to puill it off. Gillard is a tougher political operator than Costello.

  30. Glen says
    Glen Says:
    September 14th, 2007 at 2:24 pm
    The question really should be who do you like more???

    Costello (Deputy Dawg)
    Gillard (nuff said)

    What a choice!

    Its the choice between a giant douche and a turd sandwich….

    Comparing Julia Gillard to a “turd sandwich” puts you right in the same category as Rupert Glen, and Costello, and Howard, and anyone else who thinks it’s ok to use that kind of language about another person-pathetic and childish.

    Surely you have something better to offer than that cheap shot: perhaps you have nothing left but sour grapes ?

  31. How can the coalition set in place plans for Australia in the next term of government where they don’t even have definite plans for their own leadership???

    I would like to know who the next treasurer will be?

    And if you think creampuff cossie will be their next PM, if they win that is, think again! Turnbull has been heavily backed into 3.00 to be next leader.

  32. I can’t imagine it’ll have a huge effect. I think it’s been fairly obvious of the risk of Costello the last 2 elections as Howard refused to confirm he’d stay the full term. However, I think Labor may be able to capitalise on uncertainty on what will happen when Howard resigns, given that he hasn’t confirmed it will be Costello to take over.

    Will it be Abbot? Ruddock? Bronwyn Bishop? I think this would be a far better strategy… showing that we can never be certain which PM we will get and that there are a number of unpopular choices.

  33. 36
    Lord D Says:
    September 14th, 2007 at 2:42 pm
    …This transition idea of Howard’s is dumb IMO

    Yes, LD. It is the worst of both worlds.

    I spoke to one of my own bell-whethers this morning: Chinese lady, 55 yo or so, husband is a GP, well-off, well-educated, basically conservative migrant with no built-in political preferences one way or another. I asked her what she thought of “the politics”. Her summation: “It’s ridiculous. Howard has been there too long. They have to stop this carry-on.”

    I never expected such a definite statement, but there you go….You can 500% certain she did not vote for Mark Latham and generally would not be politically focessed. She lives in a Liberal-held seat.

  34. The double Howard/Costello double act is a vote of no-self-confidence by Howard. He is saying: “I can’t do this by myself.” He’s finished.

  35. Lord D, I agree with you. Howard has made his government, and himself, look like even more of a joke than it already was. It is a complete shambles.

    Howard is basically saying that in order to get rid of him, we have to re-elect him as PM once more. This is absolute trickery at its worst, despite being dressed up as an act of honesty. Howard won’t be handing the reigns to Costello. He hates Costello and has always tried to block Costello’s ambitions.

    Howard is simply using Costello as a younger face to counteract Rudd. It is still about Howard and getting himself re-elected as PM. And the beauty of Howard’s grand plan is that in the event that the government is defeated, then he doesn’t have to wear the full blame himself. He can share with it Costello, therefore using Costello as a fall guy.

    If the government wins, expect Howard to suddenly find new reasons why he has to stay and why Costello can’t be PM.

    Australians are fools if they believe Howard. I suspect the majority won’t fall for it. They will see it as another con job. But as for Costello? He really is a fool. He does seem to believe it, just as he has on other past occasions. How could he be so naive? If Costello really wants to knife Howard, and I wouldn’t blame him for wanting to, then he should announce his retirement during the election campaign. See where that leaves Howard and his ego maniacal and unrelenting grasp on the Prime Ministership.

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